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Luka Modric Becomes First Player To Win Golden Ball And UEFA Men’s POTY Since Ronaldo In '98

Luka Modric Becomes First Player To Win Golden Ball And UEFA Men’s POTY Since Ronaldo In '98

Luka Modric has beaten the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah to the UEFA Player of the Year award following an incredible season with club and country.

The 32-year-old's journey in football is by far one of the most inspirational stories you'll ever read and to put the icing on top of the cake, he beat the likes of Eden Hazard and Antoine Griezmann to the Golden Boot trophy in the same year.

It has been a memorable few months for Modric, who lifted the prestigious trophy at this summer's World Cup in Russia.

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He helped Croatia to the final and unfortunately for the midfielder, France eventually went on to win the competition, but the heroics of Modric did not go unnoticed.

And now, the Los Blancos midfielder has become the first player to win the World Cup Golden Ball and the UEFA Men's Player of the Year award since the great 'R9' Ronaldo in 1998 via Squawka.

Now that is an achievement in itself.

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Back on the topic of this summer's World Cup and Modric not only played more minutes than anyone else in the tournament, but he somehow ran over 40 miles throughout. Madness.

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We saw his endurance and stamina against England, where Modric was still running the game late on and showing little signs of fatigue. He has a remarkable ability to go up another gear when others fall down a peg.

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Let's go back and learn more about his journey to the final.

At the age of six, Luka Modric's life was rocked to the core. He was made a refugee after his grandfather was shot dead by ethnic Serb rebels close to his home. It was a moment that would live with him forever.

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In the coming years, he would live in a warzone and grow up to the sound of grenades exploding as conflict went on. He soon fled Croatia after his house was burned down but despite the troubles in his life, football was an escape for Modric.

As mentioned earlier, football also had its obstacles. Coaches said he was 'too weak and too shy' to play. He proved those doubters wrong and has since played in the Premier League with Tottenham and enjoyed a hugely successful spell with Real Madrid, establishing himself as one of the best midfielders in world football.

On Wednesday 15 June, he might not have realised his true dream of lifting the World Cup, but he can always say that he's lead a team to the final.

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Not many can say that, Luka.

Topics: Football News, Football, Ronaldo, UEFA, R9, Real Madrid, Luka Modric, Inter Milan

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Jack Kenmare

Jack Kenmare is a writer at SPORTbible. He's interviewed some of the biggest names in sport, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pele, Carles Puyol and Tim Henman. He dabbles in all things sport but football is his biggest passion. He was once hit in the head by a wayward strike from Nicky Butt and lived to tell the tale.